Driving Lessons (guest)

May 11, 2011 at 10:54 am Leave a comment

MOVIE:  Driving Lessons

GUEST:  ScotWest

NUTSHELL:  Rupert Grint is a repressed young man with the soul of a poet and the head of Carrot Top. Under the tutelage of a has-been soap star with a mania for drunken camping (Julie Walters), Rupert escapes his uptight, adulterous, pajama-fancying evangelical Christian mother, discovers a love of booze and tents and oversexed, helium-voiced Scottish women, drives around on a lot of two-lane roads, looks extremely pissed and pucker-mouthed while wearing a eucalyptus tree costume, tells a teen supermodel to “fuck off,” writes some crappy poetry, and looks pensive as he handles the ignition key of a Volvo moments after it was evacuated from the bowels of a septuagenarian.

GOOD THINGS:  The music, Julie Walters, Rupert’s ability to use his fish-like lips to express various forms of angst, the rustic scenery, the shots of Edinburgh, British people being amusingly repressed

BAD THINGS:  A little too much repression, Julie Walters with puke in her hair, the elderly, non-verbal transvestite, the whole scene where Julie arouses religious ecstasy in a church full of women by “talking” the lyrics of various popular songs like William Shatner on the “Transformed Man” album.

FEATURES:  Birdcalls, kilts, sheep, pajamas, camping equipment, gardening, bicycles, tree costumes, bible pageants, repression, attempted assassination by car, vaguely implied adultery, strongly implied deflowering, and lots and lots of close-ups of Rupert’s orange, puckered head

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Mom (Laura Linney) and her frequent habit of hanging around her son’s room in her pajamas, the old man eating squash, a couple of moments that look like they’re going to veer uncomfortably close to “Harold and Maude” territory before backing off.

NOTABLE:  Rupert actually manages to carry his half of the movie. But he’s got a face made to look stupefied, morose, or pissed-off, so he’s either going to have to pick his projects very carefully, or learn three or four new facial expressions.

BEST PART:  Sadly, I can’t think of any. I did laugh at a number of lines that nobody else in the theater seemed to think was funny, but I think it was less the lines and more the repressed way they were said.

BEST LINE:  The poem Rupert insists on reading to the evangelical teen supermodel, because it’s not often that you hear a tender love sonnet dedicated to a freakishly tall girl climax with the poet talking about his “meat.” Also, it’s the least repressed moment in the film that didn’t involve puking, vicars lustily reproducing birdsong, or running someone over with a car.

CROWNS:  3 out of 5

Entry filed under: Guest Review, ScotWest.

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